Migrant workers are queuing up outside coronavirus screening centres in Delhi in huge numbers despite a serious heatwave washing over the national capital so that they can be declared COVID-19 free and board special trains to get back home.
However, despite waiting outside in 50° Celcius, they were told that the Shramik trains won't be running.
According to NDTV, at a screening centre in Delhi's West Vinod Nagar, migrants waiting for an entire day were informed there would be no trains running to Bihar for the next three days.
One of these workers, Karishma Devi, who is 8 months pregnant and has been thrown out of her house because she had no money left to pay the rent spoke to NDTV about the ordeal and said:
We will die like this... because of hunger. I have been here since 11 am yesterday (Tuesday). We haven't even been given water and the police keep threatening us
Another worker Ashok, who has also been looking to return to Bihar said:
I have also been here since 11 am yesterday, after we got a late night message that our train will leave in the morning. But we saw the message late and, by the time we reached, were told the train had left. We have stayed all night but got only water and biscuits.
25-year-old Shaqib also spoke to reporters and said that they had come there because they were told about the trains leaving for Bihar. But upon reaching there and waiting for hours, they were being told that there were no trains available.
As centre and state governments argue over the running of these trains, its the poor migrant workers that have to bear the brunt of it. Earlier while Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal debated over the state not providing enough information, thousands of migrants gathered outside Mumbai railway stations.